Despite COVID-19 continuing to affect the country, many Seton Hall students who were attending class remotely in the fall have moved back to campus this semester.
Students returned for various reasons. Emma Boeninghaus, a sophomore finance and IT management major, said she wanted a change of scenery.
“At home, I felt my day was pretty repetitive, so I decided to move back so I can have a fresh start for my second semester of sophomore year,” Boeninghaus said.
Serena Roman, a sophomore biology major, said she came back to campus to focus more on her studies.
“When I was home, I was kind of depressed,” Roman said. “I lacked basic human interaction, and I wasn’t motivated to do anything. So, I decided to come back to campus so that I can focus on my studies more and have less distractions than when I was home.”
Students who just moved onto campus this semester said that attending Hyflex classes in person is a new experience as they are used to attending remotely. Lari Hernandez-Perez, a sophomore biology major, said she thinks being in the classroom again will improve her learning experience.
“There’s nothing like the regular in-class experience; you just get to create this bond with the professors and they get to answer your questions and get to know you,” Hernandez-Perez said.
Ava Ekberg, a sophomore public relations major, shared similar sentiments. Ekberg said being in the classroom is less distracting than when learning remotely.
“It is so easy to get distracted by technology with the ability to turn off your camera or zone out of class virtually, which made learning more of a challenge as you often had to reteach yourself course information,” Ekberg said. “The students present in the classroom are slim to none, which makes attending class that more attentive since you can’t hide and are expected to participate.”
While some students made the decision to move onto campus this semester, others who were on campus in the fall decided to move back home.
Molly Barkley, a freshman in the 3+3 program for diplomacy, international relations and law, said she moved back home because she felt limited socially on campus.
“The activities were limited, and of course that makes sense for health and safety concerns, but it felt very isolating,” Barkley said. “Also, I wasn’t in a quad. I just had one other roommate and she actually decided to commute before I decided not to move back, so it would’ve been just me alone in my room, so that would’ve been pretty lonely, too.”
Barkley added, “I just feel very far removed from Seton Hall, and it’s really hard to have school spirit or to be proud of a certain school if you can’t live there most of the time.”
Some students, like Boeninghaus, said they have felt more hopeful since returning to campus. Boeninghaus said she feels that things are not so different on campus from pre-pandemic times.
“It was pretty surprising to see how similar it was to before COVID besides wearing the masks and the safety precautions,” Boeninghaus said. “I feel like it’s somewhat similar to my freshman year and makes me hopeful for the future.”
Brooke McCormick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.